Volkswagen Australia’s upcoming ID-branded EV offensive will see more streamlined model ranges, according to the brand’s local boss for passenger vehicles.
“Each model will be much simpler than today’s portfolio” Mr Szaniecki said. “That’s completely fine, it’s appreciated by our customers because the choice is much more intuitive, much simpler, and much faster.”
“Economically, it’s also justified because [customers] aren’t lost in an abundance of opportunities.”
That means Australians aren’t likely to see a sprawling range of variants when the new ID. products land Down Under, with Szaniecki indicating we can expect a far less dense model tree compared to something like the Tiguan SUV, which offers no fewer than seven variants as a five-seater alone.
In the case of the Tiguan-sized ID.4, the global range includes a 108kW (148PS) base model with 52kWh lithium-ion battery, good for 0-100km/h in 10.9 seconds and a WLTP-certified combined driving range of 342 kilometres.
There’s also a 125kW (170PS) single-motor variant offered with the smaller battery, as well as 128kW (174PS) single-motor and 150kW (204PS) dual-motor variants with a larger 77kWh battery with 318-320 miles (511-515km) of range. A new 195kW 4Motion variant just joined the European line-up in August, quoting up to 517km of range.
Mr Szaniecki’s comments indicate the local division will focus on mid- and high-spec grades, perhaps the 77kWh variants each with a different level of spec, offering RWD and AWD options.
Sitting above the core line-up is the performance-focused GTX, which gets 220kW from its dual-motor electric drive system and quotes a driving range of 479km from its 77kWh battery.
While VW Australia has yet to properly confirm if and when we might see the ID.4 GTX (and ID.5 GTX) in Australia, CarExpert understands the go-fast versions are high on the local wishlist and likely to join the line-up a little after the core range arrives Down Under in around 12 months time.
Meanwhile, the coupe-styled ID.5 already has a streamlined range in overseas markets like the UK, exclusively offered with the long-range battery but various outputs. We’d expect a similar strategy here, perhaps limited to AWD versions only given the more premium positioning.
The smaller ID.3 hatchback won’t come to Australia until the mid-life facelift – likely to debut sometime in 2024 – but in the meantime the nearly identical Cupra Born is earmarked for an early-2023 sales launch in Australia, filling the void for a more affordable EV within the VW Group stable.
Beyond the pure-electric vehicles VW plans to bring to Australia, the German auto giant is looking to join the hybrid market within the next 12 months – plug-in hybrids, specifically.
The Touareg R PHEV will be here early next year, while the Golf GTE hot hatch and Tiguan eHybrid SUV are the two models pretty much confirmed for arrival sometime in 2023, with Mr Szaniecki hinting that a Passat PHEV could be on the cards for Australia too – likely with the next generation model believed to be in the wings for a 2023 reveal.
In line with the comments from VW’s passenger car boss, expect the plug-in models to be available as a single, high-spec offering – the Touareg R and Golf GTE are, naturally, tied to a single trim level already.
Again the VW brand has been beaten by one of its own Group members in offering PHEV tech, with Cupra launching the Leon and Formentor plug-in hybrids this year, and Audi has previously offered the A3 e-tron in the early days of the small hatchback’s previous generation.